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Laree Martin, an attorney at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC

Laree Martin looks forward to the Combined Federal Campaign each year.

The Postal Service attorney has donated to the annual charity drive, also known as the CFC, for more than two decades. She especially enjoys reading the CFC catalog.

“It’s fascinating to see what all the organizations are doing and who or what they help,” says Martin, who works at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “Looking at the catalog helps me learn about new ones I could donate to.”

The CFC allows federal employees, retirees and contractors to contribute to more than 7,000 charities. USPS workers pledged $7.7 million during the previous drive, exceeding the organization’s goal by 20 percent.

To help employees participate this year, Martin offers these tips:

• Do your homework. The CFC online pledging system allows you to search for organizations by name or by category.

Many USPS facilities also hold CFC fairs that allow employees to meet representatives from participating charities.

• Give wisely. “Start out by donating an amount that’s comfortable for you, and then see if you can do a little more the next year,” Martin says. Remember: Donations to CFC charities are tax deductible.

• Consider donating your time, too. In addition to giving money, the online pledging system allows you to search for organizations that accept volunteer hours.

Martin’s final piece of advice: Don’t underestimate the personal advantages of charitable giving.

“One of the most important beneficiaries of your CFC donation is you,” she says. “You help your emotional well-being and sense of community. It makes you feel good.”

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